Title: Without Any Pointless Complications
Pairings or Characters: One-sided Kyouya/Haruhi.
Word Count: 1341
Summary: Kyouya reflects on the lies surrounding his relationship to Haruhi. Tied for first place in the LJ ourancontest Little White Lies oneshot challenge.
Disclaimer: I don't own Ouran High School Host Club.
Without Any Pointless Complications
At first, he lied to himself.
Yes, she was pretty, in a rough, tomboy-ish sort of way. Her round face enunciated her innocence and naïveté, her large eyes only made her more compelling. Her small figure, only a few inches taller than Honey and, he speculated, a few pounds lighter made her doll-like; almost childish. At the same time, her dry pragmatism showed her intelligence and pride in the station she had fought for herself at Ouran. He understood her, in a way that he didn't always understand the others. She was practicality incarnate, standing opposite to the rest of the club and their game of make-believe. This, he admitted, was very good for the financial bottom line.
He told himself that, as a hormonal teenager, it was only to be expected that he was attracted to her. These were only chemicals – they did not control him. Love was only a hormone-induced illusion, naturally selected through evolution, and he would not permit such to mislead him.
In short, she was attractive, but he was most certainly not in love.
Then Kaoru confessed, and Hikaru. Tamaki disapproved of their advances until he himself finally recognized the nature of his feelings. Then it became another matter entirely.
Haruhi Fujioka, the unknown quantity in Ouran Academy, intelligent but naive, so perceptive and yet oblivious, was suddenly the object of affection for three of Ouran's most desirable men. Covertly, thank God, else he would have had to start some sort of gambling endeavour with the school's population. The catch-phrases were already running through his mind: Would Tamaki, the glorious sunshine, emperor of the school take the prize? Or would it be the sensitive Kaoru to win her affections? Or perhaps the dark horse Hikaru, whose brashness set him apart, would draw her attention?
He shoved those phrases into a dark corner. He wasn't writing a harlequin romance, damn it. No, as a matter of fact, he was sequestered in a study room attempting to write a lab report. His laptop sat in front of him, the neat stack of data to his left. He pulled the methods sheet towards him, refusing to admit that he was more agitated about this than he should be; that he, too, had been taken in by Tamaki's imaginary family.
"Oh, Kyouya-senpai," he heard the voice and realized the study room door had opened while he was engrossed in meaningless thoughts. He looked up, adopting an impassive look as he stared into a certain pair of large, brown eyes.
"Err . . ." she hesitated, shifting an armful of books. "Do you mind if I study here? The other rooms are taken, and I have a research essay due in two days, and it's just . . . you know."
He paused, lowering the sheet for an imperceptible second. "Go ahead," he replied diffidently, beginning to type. Close up, he could see the wan look in her eyes, the slight droop of her shoulders, could hear the soft sigh of relief pass through her lips.
"Difficult week?" The words came unbidden to the air, and Kyouya tried in vain to shove them back where they belonged. Too late, now.
"I suppose," Haruhi yawned, opening the first of the books. "You know how it is, I'm sure."
"Not at all," he replied, glancing over at his methods sheet again. He was curious; Tamaki had said something to him about "dinner and a movie," but he would be surprised if any such plan came to fruition. No, he realized; he was disconcerted with the notion that such a plan would succeed.
"Well . . ." Haruhi looked askance, clearly unsure of how much more to say. "It's nothing, really. Hikaru-kun offered to drive me home today, and then Kaoru-kun interceded and said he would walk me home. I tried to tell them no, I have to study, then Tamaki-senpai burst in and asked me if I wanted to go to Café Mercado with him."
"That doesn't seem so bad," Kyouya murmured, the cursor on the screen blinking at him. Methods. What were the methods used, again? He'd just checked, hadn't he? How very unlike him.
"No," Haruhi agreed. "Except then they started arguing, the twins against Tamaki-senpai, and then I left." She twirled a mechanical pencil in her fingers. "But this is the third time this week, and I wish . . . I wish they would leave me alone." Her voice lowered and trailed off into a whisper.
Kyouya, surprised, glanced up at her. She was now staring out the window into the courtyard below, her face openly revealing a mixture of emotions. Guilt, he read, and defiance.
"You don't mean that," he translated. He ignored the sinking feeling in his stomach as he said it. Why did he care, anyway? It's not as if their affairs had anything to do with him, unless there was the ability to turn a profit. Host Club finances weren't limitless, after all.
"No, I . . ." Haruhi sighed, staring down at her page again. "No, I don't. I just want to finish school here and go on to law school, without any unnecessary distractions. Without any pointlessly complicated relationships. Is that so much to ask?" She stopped, shook her head, and pulled the first book towards her. "I shouldn't be telling you this."
"I don't mind," Kyouya replied, strangely pleased with her confidence. He stared back down at his laptop. His cursor flashed, a steady pulse, once per second. "I won't repeat any of this."
"I know," Haruhi said, a small smile creeping onto her lips. "It's nice to talk to someone who isn't interested in me, for once."
The force of her words hit him like a thunderbolt, concealed only by self-control cultivated during years of living in the spotlight. He pulled the whole stack of papers towards him, ignoring the slight tremble of his fingers, and began to type again. "Of course," he agreed. "Of course."
From then on, it became not so much a matter of lying to himself, but one of lying to others.
So when Tamaki called him at bizarre hours of the night, he listened patiently to all of his grandiose plans. He pointed out obvious flaws and made mild suggestions that he fully expected to be ignored. He patted Tamaki on the back when Haruhi rejected him, as she did most of the time. He did the same when, once in a long while, she accepted his invitations. He commiserated with him when Haruhi chose to go somewhere with one, or both, of the twins.
When Kaoru or Hikaru let something slip, once in awhile, he simply ignored it as if he hadn't understood its significance. They did not confide in him as Tamaki did, for which he was grateful. Used to trusting each other, they must have come to some sort of truce and supported each other.
He suppressed the irritation that developed every time she went on another date, and resisted the temptation to tell them that Haruhi was merely trying to pacify them. He tried to keep Host Club relations between them all as normal as possible. There was no need for superfluous complications in their already complex relationships.
When Honey or Mori glanced at him inquiringly, he said nothing and merely smiled in return. He was fairly certain they suspected, but without any proof, they would not say anything. They did not like to interfere.
And once every week or so, Haruhi took refuge in his study room, in order to complete her assignments, essays, and other academic errata. Sometimes they made some light conversation; most of the time they studied in silence.
He supposed he wasn't actually lying to anyone – and what good would it do if he, too, confessed? Aside from being an entirely cringe-worthy experience, Tamaki would feel betrayed and the twins would be angry. Haruhi would feel alienated. Honey and Mori would simply watch the drama multiply.
And he, too, despised that which was unnecessarily complicated.